National Spelling Bee '13: Semifinal and Final Rounds

Some words from the semifinal and final rounds of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. abattoir
    a building where animals are butchered
  2. catachresis
    strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as `blatant' to mean `flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
  3. crapaud
    large toothed frog of South America and Central America resembling the bullfrog
  4. demurrage
    detention of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure
  5. diplodocus
    a huge quadrupedal herbivore with long neck and tail
  6. dolabriform
    having the shape of the head of an ax or cleaver
  7. ecphonesis
    an exclamatory rhetorical device
  8. encephalitis
    inflammation of the brain usually caused by a virus
  9. galere
    a coterie of undesirable people
  10. intravasation
    entry of foreign matter into a blood vessel
  11. lallation
    defective articulation of the `l' phoneme or the phoneme `r' is pronounced as `l'
  12. lebensraum
    space sought for occupation by a nation
  13. Mertensia
    a genus of herbs belonging to the family Boraginaceae that grow in temperate regions and have blue or purple flowers shaped like funnels
  14. Michelangelesque
    in the manner of Michelangelo
  15. misocainea
    hatred of new ideas
  16. morosoph
    a learned fool
  17. olecranon
    process of the ulna that forms the outer bump of the elbow
  18. panjandrum
    an important or influential (and often overbearing) person
  19. pediculicide
    a chemical agent that kills lice
  20. persiflage
    light teasing
  21. physiognomy
    the human face
  22. psephologist
    a sociologist who studies election trends
  23. recusancy
    refusal to submit to established authority
  24. soupcon
    a slight but appreciable amount
  25. spasmolytic
    a drug used to relieve or prevent spasms
  26. surtout
    a man's overcoat in the style of a frock coat
  27. tatterdemalion
    a dirty shabbily clothed urchin
  28. thalweg
    the middle of the chief navigable channel of a waterway that forms the boundary line between states
  29. tournedos
    thick steak cut from the beef tenderloin

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.